Su found Lin, sitting on steps descending to a one of the many courtyard of the Air Temple Island, well away from everyone. The arm guard of her left arm was laying right next to the hot water bowl and the first-aid kit Lin had brought along. Lin turned her head in the slightest as Su sat down, placing the tray of tea in her hands on the corridor floor.
"That looks bad." Su said, taking an inquisitive look at the nasty bruise on Lin's upper left arm.
Lin shrugged. "Could have been worse" She said gently cleaning the damaged skin with hot water soaked cotton wool. "P'Li got me good."
"Give it here," Su said, outstretching her hand. Lin didn't bother looking up. "I got it!" She mumbled, discarding the soiled wool in to a cardboard box.
"Su grabbed Lin's right wrist as she tried to reach a fresh bundle of cotton wool. "Of course you do!" She said, taking the smoking mug of tea from the tray she brought, and forcing it to Lin's hand. "Just give it here, and drink your tea."
Lin narrowed her eyes." What's gotten in to you?" She asked half amused.
Su ignored her sister. "This is serious. You should see a healer." She stated, examining the angry burn.
"Yeah, as soon as Kya awakes." Lin took a sip from her jasmine tea. "How did you know I'm here?"
"Seismic sense." Su replied simply, tending the bruised skin with cotton wool a little harder than Lin would have. "It wouldn't have killed you to ask for help." She hissed, holding Lin's arm tightly as Lin tried to tug it back involuntarily at the surge of pain Su's tending brought along.
"Watch it!" She said, taking another sip from her mug. "This is good! You still have the magic touch when it comes to tea, eh?"
"Give me that bandage." Su said ignoring the complement sent her way. "I just hope this doesn't get infected."
Lin put her mug down and reached for the gauze bandage roll in the first-aid kit. She was startled to find Su looking at her, dead in the eye, when she turned back.
"What?!" Lin asked, offering the bandage roll to Su.
"Nothing" Su hastily averted her gaze from Lin and took the bandage roll from her. "A piece of gauze too." She added, gently blowing on Lin's burnt skin.
Lin stared, smiling slightly. When the gauze she asked was been delayed, Su looked up, and found an smiling Lin. "What?" She asked. "And where is that gauze?"
"Mom used to do that!" Lin said, taking the gauze from the first-aid kit and passing it to Su.
Once again, Su's eyes stayed locked with Lin a little longer than comfortable.
"OK now! You are being all weird." Lin said as she tore her eyes away from Su to find her tea. "What's eating you?"
Su, once again looked down at Lin's wound. She placed the gauze on the burn and started wrapping Lin's arm with the bandage roll. "You don't get to do that Lin!" She mumbled, as she attended to it.
"Sorry, what?" Lin asked nonchalantly, taking a long sip from her tea. "What are you talking about?"
Su was silent for a while as she finished bandaging the wound and tied the final knot in place. She kept holding to Lin's elbow as she looked up at her.
"You don't get to say 'I love you' to someone and run head first at death" She said hotly. "You don't get to do that!"
Lin, hearing this, stopped drinking from her mug. She coughed violently as the tea took the chance of her surprised moment to creep down her windpipe. Su watched Lin struggle to catch her breath for a minute before she outstretched he hand and pat Lin rather hard on the back.
"That!" Lin breathed in to steady herself. "I- uh- that was the moment talking!" She said, averting her gaze from Su's. "Are you done with my arm?"
"I wouldn't have been able to live with so much weight on my shoulders if you-" Su said in a shaky voice. "You don't get to do that!"
"I guess you are" Lin said. She tried to free her arm from Su's grip to stand up. "Kya might be awake."
Su didn't budge. Instead, her forehead came to rest on Lin's shoulder. "I was terrified." Lin heard she mumble.
"Why are you so emotional?" Lin asked trying to lighten up the mood.
"For the entire time we were together, all you did was looking out for me." Su kept talking. "And how did I repay you, with two permanent scars across your face. I didn't even say I was sorry. I called you a bitter loner who only cares for yourself. Then you just say you love me before put yourself between me and death?" She sobbed a little to Lin's discomfort. "I always hated you because I'd never be as selfless as you are."
"Look, I like you better when you were bratty and arrogant!" Lin said, nudging Su's forehead with her shoulder. "Stop moping over me, or I'll take that 'love you' part back." Su's watery chuckle made Lin sigh in relief.
She watched as Su sit up straight and wipe her tears with her palm. One hand still clutching Lin's arm, Su's other hand found its way to clasp Lin's face. "I love you too YinYin." Su said placing a kiss on Lin's temple.
Lin blinked as Su got up. "I'll see you at dinner!" She said walking away.
The tiniest of smiles started to tug at Lin's lips as the all too familiar pet name sank to her heart through her years. It's been forty years since she's heard her little sister call her that.